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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 03-01-2014, 05:43 PM
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alandf alandf is offline
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Outside the Box Idea for Battery Issues

The fact that the alternator only charges our batteries up to 80% and then shuts off, with the remaining 20% of charge being done by regenerative braking, generally keeps the battery undercharged.

I have the idea that if the software could be changed so that the alternator continues to function until the battery is up to 100%, we will have much more leeway when the vehicle is not in use. It would also greatly extend the life of the battery as AGM batteries last longer if the charge is kept between 80%-100%.

It seems absurd that these expensive pieces of machinery have battery issues merely because of the idea that only charging to 80% saves a meaningful amount of fuel.It can't be meaningful if we are replacing many more batteries.
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Last edited by alandf; 03-01-2014 at 06:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2014, 07:14 AM
grover432 grover432 is offline
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When I was shopping dealers to purchase my car I was shocked to learn of the battery charging issue with short drives and cold weather, thinking it preposterous that a trickle charger could be necessary in some circumstances. I've had a low battery warning once since November - that was right after a service appointment

My car has a built in BMW trickle charger with a connection port right under the front bumper. I plug in once every week or two (overnight) and haven't seen a warning since. It has been the second coldest winter in 75 years for out region - it was minus 34C last night and my commute to work is around 12 km (8 miles).

I haven't been concerned about this issue since the first warning.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2014, 03:11 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grover432 View Post
When I was shopping dealers to purchase my car I was shocked to learn of the battery charging issue with short drives and cold weather, thinking it preposterous that a trickle charger could be necessary in some circumstances. I've had a low battery warning once since November - that was right after a service appointment

My car has a built in BMW trickle charger with a connection port right under the front bumper. I plug in once every week or two (overnight) and haven't seen a warning since. It has been the second coldest winter in 75 years for out region - it was minus 34C last night and my commute to work is around 12 km (8 miles).

I haven't been concerned about this issue since the first warning.
Well, I had a new battery installed December 19th - a little over 2 months ago. Last night my car gave of the infamous battery warning. It failed to turn on the interior lights. From past experience, the next step is the car will shut down the heater as happened to me in early December. I was embarrassing when I went to the airport to pick up friends and had to drive them home in a car with no heat!

Again, on a two month old battery?? My dealer wants $600.00 to install a built in trickle charger (by the way the installed battery chargers are not make by BMW). Also, they told me that while the installed trickle chargers we okay for 528s and 535s, they were still testing them for the 550. Moreover, I think it looks stupid to have an electrical cord hanging out of the grill like it is 1965 or something.

I asked the SA when the battery was replaced to check if there was any abnormal discharge happening from electrical components or anything else like the water pump. They said they can put the car to sleep and check for any discharge - all was good.

So, should a battery fail in two months? Should I pay the dealer $600 to install a built in trickle charger and drive around will electric cords hanging out of my grill? Just seems wrong to me that they want me to pay them to fix a defect in my car.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2014, 03:50 PM
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alandf alandf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grover432 View Post
When I was shopping dealers to purchase my car I was shocked to learn of the battery charging issue with short drives and cold weather, thinking it preposterous that a trickle charger could be necessary in some circumstances. I've had a low battery warning once since November - that was right after a service appointment

My car has a built in BMW trickle charger with a connection port right under the front bumper. I plug in once every week or two (overnight) and haven't seen a warning since. It has been the second coldest winter in 75 years for out region - it was minus 34C last night and my commute to work is around 12 km (8 miles).

I haven't been concerned about this issue since the first warning.
Am I to infer that 2013 BMW's sold in Canada come stock with a battery charger? If this is the fact ,than it is like an admission of an inherent flaw by BMW!
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:09 PM
550ix 550ix is offline
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Its not unique to BMW, modern autos with complex electronics drain battery life. I had several Corvettes and maintained them on the CTEK 3300. Use the same charger on the 550 when it sits for more than 3 days ... works great and under $60.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:25 PM
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ap90500 ap90500 is offline
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Any coder who can code F-series can do the following things:
1. Remove upper (and lower) startability limit alarm so no electrical consumers will be shut down (interior lights etc.)
2. Remove the "battery discharging while stationary...."-alarm
3. Remove the intelligent charging (IGR)/brake energy regeneration (BER) so battery will be charged to 100%. After this the charging voltage will be over 14.5 volts all the time so AGM-battery will fail in the end and needs to be replaced with ordinary battery -> start-stop must be kept off because ordinary battery can't stand continuous discharging by startin the engine all the time.

Of course first thing to do before coding these is to check the system and make sure that it is functioning like it should. No excessive silent current after vehicle sleep, getting reliable values from the intelligent battery sensor, battery is working (takes & keeps charge) etc.

Minimum of 14.5v charging voltage is based on my around 2000km (1200 miles) test with IGR/BER off. I use webasto parking heater after every overnight parking. It consumes quite a lot electricity every time it is used so I am not positive if the battery got charged completely at any point. This means that it is still possible that the voltage can drop to the agm-upkeeping level after the battery is completely charged but I never reached this and didn't want to continue the test anymore.

Last edited by ap90500; 03-02-2014 at 05:51 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:44 PM
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ap90500 ap90500 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGP View Post
Well, I had a new battery installed December 19th - a little over 2 months ago. Last night my car gave of the infamous battery warning. It failed to turn on the interior lights. From past experience, the next step is the car will shut down the heater as happened to me in early December. I was embarrassing when I went to the airport to pick up friends and had to drive them home in a car with no heat!

Again, on a two month old battery?? My dealer wants $600.00 to install a built in trickle charger (by the way the installed battery chargers are not make by BMW). Also, they told me that while the installed trickle chargers we okay for 528s and 535s, they were still testing them for the 550. Moreover, I think it looks stupid to have an electrical cord hanging out of the grill like it is 1965 or something.

I asked the SA when the battery was replaced to check if there was any abnormal discharge happening from electrical components or anything else like the water pump. They said they can put the car to sleep and check for any discharge - all was good.

So, should a battery fail in two months? Should I pay the dealer $600 to install a built in trickle charger and drive around will electric cords hanging out of my grill? Just seems wrong to me that they want me to pay them to fix a defect in my car.
Do not accept the charger. It removes a symptom but does not fix the problem. There is definitely something wrong in your car if it keeps shutting more and more components while you are driving and your engine is running. If there is no silent current and the battery is tested with battery tester and it has around 80% charge level and keeps it, then I would say it is a sensort fault (IBS) until proven otherwise.

You can also check your charging voltage from a hidden menu. It is around 14,8v when charging/regenerating braking energy, under 14v when upkeeping the charge and under 13v when discharging.

Last edited by ap90500; 03-02-2014 at 05:53 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2014, 07:37 PM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap90500 View Post
Do not accept the charger. It removes a symptom but does not fix the problem. There is definitely something wrong in your car if it keeps shutting more and more components while you are driving and your engine is running. If there is no silent current and the battery is tested with battery tester and it has around 80% charge level and keeps it, then I would say it is a sensort fault (IBS) until proven otherwise.

You can also check your charging voltage from a hidden menu. It is around 14,8v when charging/regenerating braking energy, under 14v when upkeeping the charge and under 13v when discharging.
Thanks. It is frustrating!
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:09 PM
ahmadddd ahmadddd is offline
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All,

Solution is easy, ask people who have the same car in your area to confirm if it's really a weather issue... I don't buy it... Does other cars( Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, and Lexus) have the same issue in your area? If not then your car is defective and as long as the dealer is unable to fix it and provide you with a BS solution instead (installing trickle charger) then it's better to get rid of it and by E 350 or even a Lexus or Audi.

This is a serious issue and not acceptable at all in a car at this class.. It's not acceptable even in a Corola or Civic! If I were you I would get rid of it and loose some money but win my piece of mind.. This is not a cell phone that you need to plug in everyday... Did you buy a plug in hybrid..lol.. Sounds like a Tesla not an F10.

If you live in the US you need to Lemon it, don't accept any temporary solution like plugging the car overnight,..etc

For other countries, Sell it and move on with your life.. This is my advise to anybody who lives in a country with no Lemon laws and is unable to get his car fixed
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Last edited by ahmadddd; 03-02-2014 at 08:30 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:15 PM
grover432 grover432 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGP View Post
Well, I had a new battery installed December 19th - a little over 2 months ago. Last night my car gave of the infamous battery warning. It failed to turn on the interior lights. From past experience, the next step is the car will shut down the heater as happened to me in early December. I was embarrassing when I went to the airport to pick up friends and had to drive them home in a car with no heat!

Again, on a two month old battery?? My dealer wants $600.00 to install a built in trickle charger (by the way the installed battery chargers are not make by BMW). Also, they told me that while the installed trickle chargers we okay for 528s and 535s, they were still testing them for the 550. Moreover, I think it looks stupid to have an electrical cord hanging out of the grill like it is 1965 or something.

I asked the SA when the battery was replaced to check if there was any abnormal discharge happening from electrical components or anything else like the water pump. They said they can put the car to sleep and check for any discharge - all was good.

So, should a battery fail in two months? Should I pay the dealer $600 to install a built in trickle charger and drive around will electric cords hanging out of my grill? Just seems wrong to me that they want me to pay them to fix a defect in my car.
Read my post again. There is no cord hanging out, rather a port that you plug a cord into. My car is new so maybe that is why I haven't had any problems. If i do and I can't get it resolved I'll sell the car and buy something else. I'm too busy to run around waving my hands in the air at BMW demanding a fix. It is what it is and I bought my car knowing that it might need topping up. By the way, the BMW service card says $275.00 for a battery installed (parts and labour).
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:21 PM
ahmadddd ahmadddd is offline
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Originally Posted by grover432 View Post
Read my post again. There is no cord hanging out, rather a port that you plug a cord into. My car is new so maybe that is why I haven't had any problems. If i do and I can't get it resolved I'll sell the car and buy something else. I'm too busy to run around waving my hands in the air at BMW demanding a fix. It is what it is and I bought my car knowing that it might need topping up. By the way, the BMW service card says $275.00 for a battery installed (parts and labour).
I read it we'll and didn't talk about a cord, having a port is unacceptable too.. Don't think a Toyota Camry or any other car would need that.. Having the warning even for one time and plugging the car twice a week is not acceptable too. Anyway my advise were for all people here who have this issue and are unable to fix it. You need to read my post again This was meant for everybody including the guy who mentioned that his heat went off.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2014, 09:13 PM
550ix 550ix is offline
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Some of you are over-reacting ... most supercars come with the CTEK. Guess they are lemons.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:23 PM
ahmadddd ahmadddd is offline
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Some of you are over-reacting ... most supercars come with the CTEK. Guess they are lemons.
Does having constant battery charging issues on a brand new car is over-reacting!! Lights, heat, and other electrical equipment shutdown while driving is over-reacting!! Yes if a car needs to be plugged in constantly like a cell phone YES it is a Lemon.. What if somebody travel a long way to another state and sleep at a hotel overnight.. what should he do, ask the valet parking guy to plug it in because it will not turn on the next day!! For me definitely thats a Lemon and any other reliable Japanese car like Toyota would be much better.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2014, 09:28 PM
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alandf alandf is offline
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From the original poster

You have to admit that it is LUDICROUS that a $65K + vehicle needs to be plugged in every night. I was told by my SA that I have an unacceptable driving profile. He should have added that I need to be punished! Actually I am punished by having to open the hood and plug in and connect a charger every time I arrive home.

To add insult,BMW does not accept the fact that these electrical issues are an engineering flaw.

Sorry I didn't buy a more reliable machine.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 PM
RichmondR RichmondR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmadddd View Post
Does having constant battery charging issues on a brand new car is over-reacting!! Lights, heat, and other electrical equipment shutdown while driving is over-reacting!! Yes if a car needs to be plugged in constantly like a cell phone YES it is a Lemon.. What if somebody travel a long way to another state and sleep at a hotel overnight.. what should he do, ask the valet parking guy to plug it in because it will not turn on the next day!! For me definitely thats a Lemon and any other reliable Japanese car like Toyota would be much better.
Amen. Just brought mine home from the dealer with a "fully charged" battery and a diagnosis that nothing is wrong. Third service visit with battery/charging problems since we bought the car 6 weeks ago. 12 hours later after picking up the car, I have the Charge Battery indicator, no interior lights and occasionally no seat heaters. This is a MASSIVE hassle and my wife wont even drive the car at night with no interior lights. If nothing gets done soon I will start lemon proceedings. We shouldn't have to put up with this crap.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:44 PM
ahmadddd ahmadddd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alandf View Post
You have to admit that it is LUDICROUS that a $65K + vehicle needs to be plugged in every night. I was told by my SA that I have an unacceptable driving profile. He should have added that I need to be punished! Actually I am punished by having to open the hood and plug in and connect a charger every time I arrive home.

To add insult,BMW does not accept the fact that these electrical issues are an engineering flaw.

Sorry I didn't buy a more reliable machine.
Lemon it, you could easily win the case.. consult an attorney.. if you win BMW will pay everything... if you plug it everyday thats an electrical car..lool... like TESLA
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:49 PM
ahmadddd ahmadddd is offline
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Originally Posted by RichmondR View Post
Amen. Just brought mine home from the dealer with a "fully charged" battery and a diagnosis that nothing is wrong. Third service visit with battery/charging problems since we bought the car 6 weeks ago. 12 hours later after picking up the car, I have the Charge Battery indicator, no interior lights and occasionally no seat heaters. This is a MASSIVE hassle and my wife wont even drive the car at night with no interior lights. If nothing gets done soon I will start lemon proceedings. We shouldn't have to put up with this crap.
Make sure that you check the Lemon laws in your state, keep taking it back to the dealer until you fulfill the Lemon law requirements and become eligible so you can guarantee the case

In NJ if the car stays for 30 business days at the dealer workshop or you revisit the dealer 3 times for the same issue without being fixed you could lemon the car provided that the dealer admit it, if he insist that its normal take it to another dealer (in my case which is a slight steering buzz/vibration the dealer tell me its normal, but your issue is different and serious)
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2014, 10:36 PM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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So what was the reasoning behind this regenerative braking system?
Trying to add novelties/innovations to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to meet the ever-tightening EPA requirements?
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:10 AM
RichmondR RichmondR is offline
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BTW, my SA did say Saturday (before the battery charge light came on 12 hours after leaving the dealership) they were going to contact BMW about a new battery, but at this point since the battery is measuring good on their testing equipment, its a bit of a hassle. They are willing to come pick up the car (Im about 25 miles from the dealer) and drop off a loaner. I'm sure the fact that the charge battery indicator light came on so quickly will get them to move more quickly on the new battery.

Apparently one of the issues is that there is a portion of battery capacity that cant be accurately measured, so the battery will test fully charged even through it is not really at its top capacity. The fact that these batteries operate at a fairly small range between 85% and the 70% that sets off the charge battery indicator, combined with what appears to be the complete inability of the car to charge itself enough to turn the indicator light off at colder temps is where the problem lies.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:12 AM
RichmondR RichmondR is offline
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
So what was the reasoning behind this regenerative braking system?
Trying to add novelties/innovations to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to meet the ever-tightening EPA requirements?
I suspect 1 and 3. Too bad they couldn't keep the godd*m battery charged in the process.
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  #21  
Old 03-03-2014, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
So what was the reasoning behind this regenerative braking system?
Trying to add novelties/innovations to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to interest buyers?
Trying to improve gas mileage to meet the ever-tightening EPA requirements?
Definitely gas mileage -> emissions -> taxes.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:30 AM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Too bad they couldn't keep the godd*m battery charged in the process.
In order for the regenerative braking idea to work, the battery must stay partially discharged all the time. Problem is, it seems to be very challenging to measure the exact state of charge of a lead-acid battery in a running car.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:31 AM
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ap90500 ap90500 is offline
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Originally Posted by RichmondR View Post
Apparently one of the issues is that there is a portion of battery capacity that cant be accurately measured, so the battery will test fully charged even through it is not really at its top capacity. The fact that these batteries operate at a fairly small range between 85% and the 70% that sets off the charge battery indicator, combined with what appears to be the complete inability of the car to charge itself enough to turn the indicator light off at colder temps is where the problem lies.
Last part is not true. If the car is working correctly, there are no problems charging the battery unless you are driving VERY low distances. It is sad that the dealers are using this as an argument even though the distances travelled are not too short and then the fault won't be recognized. Ihave been loggin data extensively from my F11 electrical/charging system and I am confident that the system is a very good design and works if there are no faults. We have -20c and below temperatures here every winter.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:33 AM
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In order for the regenerative braking idea to work, the battery must stay partially discharged all the time. Problem is, it seems to be very challenging to measure the exact state of charge of a lead-acid battery in a running car.
Exactly, this is the main problem. IBS is a pain in the ass. It is very sensitive component, it can be easily destroyed for example by tightening it too much.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:41 AM
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So the car just THINKS that the battery is empty even though it is not. Mechanics at the dealer really don't understand how this system works in detail and that's why they are changing batteries etc even though it is not the solution if the IBS is faulty. Of course other components must be checked like I wrote earlier, IBS is not an automatic answer for all battery problems. It just seems to be a solution on many mystery cases.
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